Police investigation into missing Agland Industries money in Cootamundra

Police specialists have been called in to investigate reports a Riverina business has fallen victim to a theft of more than $500,000.

The alleged embezzlement is understood to have taken place over a number of years at Cootamundra’s Agland Industries, with detectives and forensic accounts combing the books to track the missing money. 

Cootamundra Local Area Command Crime Manager Matthew Packham said a strike force had been formed to investigate the matter using local investigators and expert advice being provided from State Crime Command Fraud and Cybercrime Unit, with the investigation being managed under the banner of Strike Force Aside.  

Investigators have been able to trace some of the money, but the investigation is still in its early days. Fairfax Media believes that upwards of $1 million was originally missing from the agricultural services business.  

Police are following a number of lines of inquiry to discover the extent of the fraud, but are now calling on the public to offer any information they may have by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The latest investigation reveals a disturbing trend in white collar crime in Cootamundra.  The former general manager of the Cootamundra Country Club was handed a suspended 12-month prison sentence last year for taking $66,000 from the club, and a former Cootamundra bank manager was charged with defrauding customers of more than $90,000 in September.

No charges have been laid over the Agland Industries fraud.